Beginning of a New School Year
Each May we survey the mountains on the islands of Bohol and Leyte for deaf children who have never been in school. The survey only lasts a week and is carried out by the teachers. This means they spend many hours riding on the back of motorcycles into the most remote mountain jungles in search of these children. It is a big job to convince parent to bring there handicapped children down to school.
Not all the children found during the surveys will actually report to enroll in classes. Although June 6 is the official day that the 2011 – 12 school year starts, many of the new enrollees will trickle in over a two to three week period.
From the priliminary reports from the eight elementary schools where IDEA supports classrooms for the Deaf, more than 60 children have entered our kindergarten classes last week. It is expected that this number will grow over the next two weeks.
This means that our expected enrollment of deaf children in all grades will be over 450 students this school year.
Faces of New Prep Deaf Students
These are just a few of the new prep deaf students who have just entered school for the first time in Maasin, Southern Leyte. They come with almost no language skills. This is true regardless if they are five years old like the boy on the left or 14 years old like the boy on the right. They have a tough climb ahead of them but are so excited to have the chance to attend school. IDEA is making this possible.